A large proportion of added antibiotics in feed are excreted in urine and faeces by the animals, as they do not completely utilise all of the substances. About 50-90 percent of common antibiotics fed will be excreted. Tetracycline and chlortetracycline are most commonly used, and about 75-80 percent are excreted. Many of the antibiotics remain potent for considerable period during storage of manure. On repeated application of antibiotic-laden manure to the soil, results showed that significant concentration in the soil make them a potential source of contamination in the terrestrial environment. Even the degradation products of some antibiotics are as active as their parent material and can potentially alter the soil microbial ecosystem.
Soil application of animal and poultry manure is common practice in many parts of India for its value in supplying nutrients and organic matter. Livestock population in India is expected to increase in future due to rising meat demand resulted from higher purchasing power of the people.
This suggests that higher amounts of antibiotics will find their way to terrestrial environment through the use of manures, and eventually there may be severe environmental problems such as the development of resistance in some deadly bacteria.
For more of the article, please click here
Article made possible through the contribution of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University.